Animal Collective
Here Comes the Indian


5.0
classic

Review

by Lewis P. STAFF
March 7th, 2010 | 255 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Sung Tongs, Feels, Strawberry Jam and Merriweather Post Pavilion can all be found in Here Comes the Indian. To call this the definitive Animal Collective album would be too easy, but isn’t it? You reader might not agree, brandishing your copy of Feels at the screen, but I dissent: the forlorn piano of “Daffy Duck” is burrowed into “Two Sails on a Sound,” ruffling under the tonal melodies overlapping the crackle of noise and Avey Tare’s manipulated vocals. Sung Tongs’ trance-folk centerpiece “Visiting Friends” is the aging form of “Infant Dressing Table,” its playful melancholy weighed by low blasts of droning bass. “Slippi” is the scorching psych-rock that foreshadows the escapist qualities of “Who Could Win a Rabbit” and “Lion in a Coma.” The wails puncturing the unintelligible choruses on “Native Bell” and “Hey Light” characterize the similarly abrasive Strawberry Jam.

I say this not to overstate Animal Collective’s reliance on themes or tropes but to show that Here Comes the Indian is masked by an “animalistic” nature (an important and oft praised aspect to their music) that can negate the fact that Animal Collective have, here, on this album, perfected their craft and shaped the works to follow. The album is notable for being the first time all four members appear together, but the expected buoyancy is replaced by the fraying edges of psychedelic freak-folk brandished with traces of noise rock and left-field trance gaps. Following a bout of touring that left relationships strained, Here Comes the Indian proposed a catharsis for the band members, who took the chance to “rock out.”

A week later, the album was recorded and mixed, and the rushed, uncensored obliteration on display houses songs that are intricate, surprising and poignant, an extension of their wild live personas and their more critical studio characters. And while there’s more than enough room to discuss all the treasures to a masterpiece as complete as this one having been born from the frustration and passion of simply making music, the real reason this is my favorite Animal Collective album is that, once past the off-putting abrasion of a style and production that, yes, sounds like it was captured in the middle of a forest, there are these songs, man, and they are brilliant.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
HighandDriving
March 7th 2010


3288 Comments


Enough.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


15052 Comments


finally

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


15052 Comments


but i thought feels was your favorite? reconsidered? haha this is nowhere near my favorite but im predictable

Ponton
Emeritus
March 7th 2010


5806 Comments


Reviews like this make you my favorite sputnik reviewer.

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


6094 Comments


Last one you guys I promise. Until the next album.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


15052 Comments


do one for feels then you can have one for all your ac 5's

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


6094 Comments


I will consider it.

Enotron
March 7th 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Review was needed, but I don't see at all how it could be considered the definitive AC album. It just happens to be one of their better, noisier albums.

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


6094 Comments


It has some of their sweetest melodies, Panda Bear rocks the drums like he hasn't since, the overall pacing of the album is fairly incredible considering the stuff they throw out, it is unabashed about the "no-bullshit communion" they find in their animalistic qualities (quote from Deakin). It has everything I'd want in an Animal Collective album while actually playing into the nature-oriented stereotype we even apply to works like technology-oriented/family-living-obsessed MPP.

Enotron
March 7th 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fair enough.

What happened to Deakin?

Gyromania
March 7th 2010


15941 Comments


This isn't even the same band that brought us MPP, or Feels. I think my biggest problem with this album is that the songs seem to go nowhere and drag on. As far as their noise/folk albums go I much prefer Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished

danielewski
March 7th 2010


56 Comments


i mean this is good and everything but

Prophet178
March 7th 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Maybe I need to listen to this more, I feel its the weakest AC release...

Fucking killer review though.

Gyromania
March 7th 2010


15941 Comments


Lewis, you're definitely the best staff reviewer for sputnikmusic, but disagree entirely.

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


6094 Comments


Spirit is great and I like it when people argue in its favor, but for me personally it is too obviously a period of progression. That album definitely has moments that start to sag whereas I find this particularly tight knit, even more so than MPP or Sung Tongs.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


15052 Comments


i feel like they started well (most of all in terms of songwriting; 'chocolate girl' is prog-pop that feels VERY mature in terms of songwriting) with spirit, then kinda regressed and then this is where they started to come back. not to diss on campfire songs because i love it though

Tits McGee
March 7th 2010


1876 Comments


Well I've been thinking about getting back into AC so I'll probably get this.

Great review as always

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2010


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

one of my favorites, a much needed review lewis

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Gyromania
March 7th 2010


15941 Comments


If anything Spirit suffers due to its length, but otherwise houses some of the collectives best songs. I've only heard this twice but it sounded more like a 3/5 for me.

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2010


6094 Comments


This wasn't a 5 until after months of listening.



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